Public Comment Highlights From UC Regents Meeting

705

The UC Board of Regents meetings were held Nov. 14-16 at the UC San Francisco Mission Bay Conference Center. Public comments were heard Wednesday and included a multitude of concerns from voices across the UC system. The next set of meetings is planned to take place at the same location on Jan. 24-25. Here are a few testimonies from students and UC employees who addressed the UC Board of Regents during public comment on topics ranging from condemning sexual assault to protecting workers’ rights.

Kylie Murdock, peer educator for Greeks Against Sexual Assault and UC Berkeley student.

Murdock demanded that if President Napolitano is truly committed to upholding protection of students and staff from sexual violence and harassment, then she should fire Regent Norman Pattiz for sexual assault allegations made against him over a year ago.

“We talk about not tolerating this behavior from men in Hollywood and even from our current president, so why should we tolerate it from a regent? You represent students and we no longer want Regent Pattiz to represent us, so I ask you to hold Regent Pattiz accountable for his actions. As a survivor of sexual violence I ask you to fire him,” Murdock said during public comment.

Zoë Broussard, external vice president of UC Irvine, UC Student Association’s chair of university affairs.

Broussard advocated for the UC Student Association’s Demanding Disability Resources and Diversification (3D) initiative, which seeks to make consultation with disability resource centers on campuses mandatory for all new buildings.

“Ensuring that the UC remains accessible for all students means committing to improving resources for students with disabilities,” Broussard said during public comment. “While the UC increases its enrollment, it also follows that there will be projected increases in infrastructure. Buildings themselves remain accessible only by the minimum legal standards and not in a way that students with disabilities may most conveniently and holistically use campus spaces.”

Lynne Sheehan, UC Santa Cruz IT staff member.

Sheehan cited bargaining where UC offered a 2 percent increase, outsourcing and the dismantling of retirement plans as attacks to UC staff.

“Unrepresented staff in the middle are being squeezed and we feel as though we are an afterthought. The wage increases this year have barely allowed us to keep up with the cost of living and the cost of coming to work,” Sheehan said during public comment. “Do the right thing — stand up for those in the middle.”

Travis Wallace, UC San Diego registered nurse.

Wallace said he was upset about UC’s proposal to not post schedules 14 days in advance and to eliminate shift protections that would keep shifts consistently days or nights.

“Nurses are extremely upset over the university’s proposal to do away with several important protections and basic rights in our contract. After a decade of having no mandatory overtime, the proposal to reinstate mandatory overtime is unbelievable. Not knowing when your shift will end causes anxiety and chaos,” Wallace said during public comment.

Dana Alpert, national programs manager for Associated Students of the UC at UC Berkeley.

Alpert spoke out about mental health care accessibility on UC campuses.

“As a resident assistant in the UC Berkeley dorms, I’ve consoled many of my residents who have experienced great anguish upon finding out that they could not receive services or even be seen by mental health care providers for at least three weeks during the middle of a stressful semester,” Alpert said during public comment.